Have you ever found yourself seriously looking for information on the internet for the paper you have to submit two weeks from now, but the next moment, the hungry monkey just wants you to take a ‘short’ break and watch a YouTube video instead, for five minutes, or maybe for fifteen, to rejuvenate yourself for a while till you can get back to work. You must be wondering about this monkey, so to put it in short, it is a quiescent creature that exists inside all of us and manifests itself only when an important task has to be avoided. It does not appear, like humanity during the Holocaust, when you think about taking a nap all day and sleep all night like an anesthetized patient. So, from the study of ‘deconstructionist depths in literature’, the search steers to a Wikipedia page on ‘Chandrachur Singh’ to ‘five reasons he/she loves you’, and ultimately to a video explaining the list of dates predicted for an apocalypse. Yeah, sure, there is one after two weeks and that is your day of assignment submission. This untamed monkey constantly reminds you of unnecessary engagements, like your stinking socks need a wash, your books have to be arranged properly, and maybe going out for a walk ‘cause health has to be taken care of. No compromise whatsoever. This eternal hanging of your incomplete task becomes an act of self-sabotage where those long interruptions and intervals from work only lead to temporary solace, but in the long run, you end up cramming haphazardly where your task is not creative but desperate.
Procrastination happens because you become anxious of the work that awaits you and to evade this negative feeling, you find refuge in fresh mozzarella dripping on your fingers when you detach the hot stretchy slice from that pizza, in tweeting and nudging your favourite actor who is ‘too busy’ in his/her work to reply, in creating strategies for survival in video games, when in real you have none to sustain yourself. Finding comfort even in panic, you do things you are not expected to do in order to avoid doing what you should be doing. Therefore, you get caught in a self-defeating cycle ensnared in a labyrinth created by the anxiety monster which comes into existence when deadlines approach. Thou shalt not let the Mephistophelean monkey disturb you. Do not resort to barter productive work for the futile and purposeless activity. For once, do not quit. Things go wrong sometimes, but you will never know how close you are to your destination if you are unwilling to take the journey. Five more minutes…One more bite…Just one more episode…But what about utilizing your time? Well, it comes with an announcement which says ‘404 not found’.
You are not sure if you are hungry, but you assume that you are because who wants to work? Let’s do it tomorrow… There is enough time… I don’t feel like doing this task; these are the false promises which keep you away from facing reality, make you live under a false awareness that matters will be solved, ultimately. Instead of punching yourself in the face, you ‘imagine’ that you worked for three hours when all you did was to check your constantly beeping phone, social media accounts, pretending to think, doodling not even a word, while your assignment sheet, with its smudges and smears, positioned itself obediently on the table, exasperated by the glare of your light lamp right above, eagerly anticipating your thoughts, and secretly mumbling, “Thanks for being who you are. A master slacker!” And, the little creature on the wall with a tapering tail lifts its head to see your progress, inarticulate it is but nevertheless observant, only to find you sitting doing nothing, while it at least managed to measure the length and breadth of your room, sneakily yet steadily. Voicing itself in the speech you always fail to understand, it may be thinks of how humans protect themselves even without trying. Is it because they fear rejection or are they just too lethargic to make an attempt? Get rid of the deadline-induced panic, and get working NOW. What? Did you just say LATER?